Beginnings is a place where Wayne & Irene will be writing about where they came from – telling their stories – about their life together. This is where you learn more about Wayne & Irene than you have ever known.
I was a 14 year old kid that didn’t much know where he was going. I showed up that first day of school for the eighth grade and made it through to about the fourth period class. English. Mrs. Hackenberg it said on the door. She asked us our name and gave us our seat assignments. Unsuspecting me, just bouncing through the day and mostly disliking each minute of it. Never liked school. Mrs. Hackenberg acted like she knew me. She sat me in the front and middle seat of the class. I found out later that my sister, Ginger, was her prize student a couple years earlier and the teacher figured I was going to be of the same lot. Well, I sat there that day and Mrs. Hackenberg came up from behind me and said something like, “Ireniee, do not circle your i’s like that. I’s are meant to be dotted and not circled.”
This caused me to want to see who this was that was sitting behind me circling her i’s. When there was a discreet moment, I was able to actually turn around. Much to my surprise, I was hit in the chest with my future destiny in such a way that I was sure someone had broken my sternum with a baseball bat. This person, I found out, was Irene Joy Simpson. I had not seen her. Well, I wasn’t looking for her. There simply was nothing like her in the whole world. How could I possibly have known.
I spent the most miserable eighth grade year that anyone has ever thought of, because I was not what you’d call bold and not about to do or say anything to this dream girl. But, I was observant. I saw who her friends were and I infiltrated little by little.
Now, I’d like to tell you that I strategically made my way into her life but that just was not the case. I did not know the first thing about the likes of that, so I simply bumbled my way through the year sitting with my back to my destiny. When she first noticed me is hard to tell, or at least long forgotten. All I know is that by the beginning of the 9th grade, she was mine. On September the 25th, 1966, I called her for the first time. Those days, meant that you dialed a big old phone with a rotary dial that could only be answered if someone was at home on the receiving end. I called and that was the beginning. She and I started going “steady.”
Five years later, at the age of 19, we were married, on September 25th, 1971.
Irene was born in Salinas, California the same year that Wayne was born in Seattle, Washington. Both were raised in South Seattle, attended separate elementary schools but then attended the same middle-school (then called Junior High School), which is where their story together begins. The place of meeting was called Puget Sound Junior High School, which was on the corner of 1st Avenue South and South 128th Street, and has since been replaced by a large grocery store complex.
In the autumn of 1951, things were different then. My mother was not quite 30 years old and my father going on 28. The doctor called them into a rather cold and institutional looking room to discuss his findings. They were invited to sit on a couple of hard wooden chairs while the doctor said that he had some really sorrowful news for them.
He explained to the Mr & Mrs Anderson, as he called them, his expert opinion of how the situation with my mother’s health and the finding of what he said that his experience and study concurred with – the only hope for my mother’s life was to abort this child that she was now carrying.
There was cooling stillness in the air as my father asked a few simple questions. Those days, people put way too much weight on a doctor’s opinion. My mom and dad went home that afternoon in a drizzle of Seattle rain and there wasn’t much said between them.
Thus, was the next few days, in their home in south Seattle, where the noise was mostly made by their daughter Ginger and she was in such a delightful stage of growth at 3 year old – so full of life. For days, my mother studied the problem, as she often said. They waited until that last moment and my dad concluded, “No.”
“We’ll take this with courage. We’ll go forward with strength. Although the doctor says that I’ll lose both of you, I do not want to lose either of you.”
The doctor was called on the telephone that day. A party line and who knows who was listening. (I’m pretty sure all heaven was listening in.) They told the doctor – through pressured explanations of why this was a bad decision – but my mother and father’s stamina to make it held fast…
They decided to hold to their integrity at any cost. That, they did.
On February 1st, 1952, I was born to my parents, Jesse M. Anderson & Marie Anderson, at Maynard Hospital in Downtown Seattle. They took me home in a couple of days and the doctor never apologized for his mistaken identity of what death really looks like.
It put something in me to fight for life. Spending 15 years in the Seattle Fire Department and over 3 decades in the nations of the world, just trying to give people the same right to live that my father and mother gave me…
Now in my later years, there is just a lot behind my thoughts each year when my birthday rolls around. The joy of breaking through, the victorious feelings my mom and dad must have felt. Me, I was just a bouncing baby boy that had no idea of the price that was paid… Yea, we rarely know of the price others pay for us to have life.
I wrote about the ultimate hate crime. Read it and maybe you’ll understand a little more of why I feel this way. “The Ultimate Hate Crime by Wayne C Anderson”
I don’t know that a pen could relate the pain of making the decision that my parents made, but, I think there are a number of people in this world that would applaud my mother and father for their courage. I do. And, I’m absolutely sure that I would have been equally as proud of them, had I not made it through that birthing process and lived all these years as I have, I know I’d have been standing at the gates of heaven awaiting my mom & dad’s arrival. Saluting them for their stand to do what was right, no matter what the cost.
All in time. All in time. We have more than the average number of stories to tell – to write for you… Irene will join in with a few yarns herself. So, we’ll just keep adding to the history of our beginnings and beyond right here. Check back every once in a while to see what’s new – or old… Watch your Social Media for our hints that there is another story to enjoy. So, enjoy. Live.